Over Christmas break I left Chiang Mai and headed to Krabi. I had spent some time down on the Thai islands previously, but unfortunately really only saw the inside of a mojito bucket. This time around I got to get out and explore, and it was a lot of fun.
1. Blue and Emerald Pools
To get here, we rented a motorbike and drove ourselves. There are options to go with tour groups, but if you can drive a motorbike I would recommend that as most of the tours seem very overpriced. The blue and emerald pools are located on a national park, so it costs 200B to get in for foreigners, and 20B for locals. To get to the emerald pool, you can choose the long route or the short route. We chose the long route on the way there, and it is much more scenic. The Emerald Pool was unfortunately pretty busy when we went there. I would recommend going in the morning as to avoid the tour buses, as we went around 1:00. You can swim in this pool, and the water is supposed to be good for your hair and skin. We didn’t stay long at the Emerald Pool and hiked up to the Blue Pool. It is a bit of a muddy trek up, with no clear route. Be prepared to have very muddy feet at the end of the hike. We were lucky enough to get the Blue Pool all to ourselves. The water is stunningly blue, and you are not allowed to swim in this pool as the mud apparently can suck you downwards. However, it was a truly beautiful sight.
2. See Some Monkeys
If you head down to the end of Ao Nang beach, there are some adorable wild monkeys. Don’t bring any food with you, as they can get aggressive and steal it. If you feel like a climb, you can go up the path at the end of Ao Nang that leads to a private resort. Not as many tourists know about this, and it is much more secluded. Many monkeys also live in the surrounding jungle, so you are bound to see quite a few of them on your hike.
3. Four Islands Tour
The 4 islands tour takes you on a half day trip to visit the islands surrounding Krabi. If you have delusions of having a private beach all to yourself- this is not something you are going to want to do. However, it was fun to see the islands, as getting there independently would have been quite expensive. Any travel agency in Krabi sells these tours- make sure to bargain for the best deal. We unfortunately got stuck in a rainstorm in the middle of the ocean and were stranded there for 30 minutes as the waves were too high to move the boat. It was not very pleasant and slightly scary, so I would make sure to go on a day with a clear weather forecast.
4. Tiger Temple
Tiger Temple is about a ten minute drive from Krabi Town. The actual temple is pretty standard, and the surrounding area is a pretty bleak site. There are malnourished animals everywhere, and it made me sad as usually temple dogs are fed by the monks. There was one dog in particular who really broke my heart, and I contacted Koh Lanta Animal Welfare about him. (Check them out, they do great work!)If you visit in the coming future, think about buying some food for the dogs, as they are in some of the worst conditions I have seen in Thailand. The hike up the mountain is beautiful however, and a grueling 1,267 steps. Some parts are quite steep as well, and the steps vary from normal size to fairly big. There are monkeys on the way up here as well, although I would recommend staying away from them and certainly not bringing food as there are ALOT of monkeys. On the entire walk we must have seen at least 200 of the little critters. The hike took us about 45 minutes, with the humidity being an even bigger killer then the hike itself. Be prepared for a workout- my calves were sore the next day. The views are worth it when you make it to the top though. Truly spectacular.
When I go on vacation, I like to eat- a lot. I’m pretty spoiled as I live in Chiang Mai, which in my opinion has some of the best food in Thailand. However, the seafood is not as fresh and it was a real treat to have it in Krabi. My favorite places would have to be in Krabi Town. There are numerous cozy Italian restaurants and a great market down by the water that sells fresh seafood and Thai food. The tropical fruit is delicious as well.
6. Phra Nang Cave
If you ever had a desire to see a cave full of giant wooden phalluses, this is your opportunity. You can get here by walking from Railay Beach to Phra Nang Beach. The locals say that the carvings are put here to pray for fertility.
7. Rock Climb at Railay
If you are looking for a thrill, there are some great rock-climbing opportunities on Railay Beach. You can get here by taking a long-tail boat from any main port in Krabi. Those are my 7 activities. Anything I missed? Let me know!